Tuesday: Hili dialogue

October 24, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to the Cruelest Day: Tuesday, October 24, 2023, and National Bologna Day (I spell it “baloney”).

It’s also World Tripe Day (I can’t abide it; have you tried it?), National Jamaican Jerk Day, United Nations Day, Food DayInternational Day of Diplomats, InternationalWorld Development Information Day, and  World Polio Day, commemorating the birthday of Jonas Salk, who was actually born on October 28. Salk was born without a middle name, but was forced to give himself one:

The day after his graduation from medical school in 1939, Salk married Donna Lindsay, a master’s candidate at the New York College of Social Work. David Oshinsky writes that Donna’s father, Elmer Lindsay, “a wealthy Manhattan dentist, viewed Salk as a social inferior, several cuts below Donna’s former suitors.” Eventually, her father agreed to the marriage on two conditions: first, Salk must wait until he could be listed as an official M.D. on the wedding invitations, and second, he must improve his “rather pedestrian status” by giving himself a middle name.”

So he gave himself the middle name “Edward.”

And here’s the menu at 3 Dives Jerk Center, rated one of the 7 best jerk places in Jamaica. One U.S. dollar is about 155 Jamaican dollars. I’ll have the curry goat with rice & veg ($7.75).

So he gave himself the middle name “Edward.”

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the October 11 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*The latest news on the war from the NYT:

The death toll in Gaza rose sharply on Monday, according to the Hamas-run health ministry, after Israel said it had struck hundreds of targets in the territory in one of the biggest barrages of airstrikes in recent days.

The Israeli military also said it had attacked Hezbollah positions in Lebanon, even as President Biden led an international diplomatic effort to try to ensure the conflict does not ensnare other nations in the region.

In a joint statement on Sunday, Mr. Biden and the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany and Italy urged Israel to protect civilians as it defended itself, and called for the release of all hostages believed to be held in Gaza. The Gaza health ministry said Monday that Israeli airstrikes had killed at least 436 people “in the past hours,” bringing the death toll to more than 5,000 since Oct. 7, when Israel began launching airstrikes in retaliation for an attack by the Hamas militant group that killed 1,400 people.

U.S. officials said that the Biden administration had advised Israel to delay a ground invasion of Gaza, a move that would allow more time for negotiations to release the more than 200 people being held hostage by Hamas and other armed groups in Gaza, and for more humanitarian aid to reach the territory. There have been glimmers of hope on both fronts — two convoys of aid entered Gaza over the weekend, and Hamas released two American hostages on Friday.

On Sunday, Mr. Biden also spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. The two leaders, according to a White House statement, affirmed that “there will now be continued flow” of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

It remained unclear when or if Israel will invade Gaza, but senior Israeli commanders increasingly have been making public references to preparations for a ground assault, which is crucial to its goal of eliminating Hamas — an objective the United States still supports. For days, Israel has been telling residents of Gaza to move southward for their own safety, even as its airstrikes hit the southern part of the territory.

I predict that what will happen is that the world, and increasingly the U.S., will call on Israel to have a cease fire and then negotiations. That is a recipe for “business as usual”, for it’s a call for either negotiations for a two-state solution, which are no longer feasible, or for negotiations to free the hostages, which Hamas won’t do without substantial concession. A cease-fire is really a call for Israel to stop bombing, don’t invade Israel, and withdraw back to its borders.  If that happens, Hamas will actually have profited from its butchery.

*Hamas has now freed two Israeli hostages, not because they’re trying to make up for their butchery, but because this puts pressure on the U.S. and the world to pause the hostilities while there are negotiations (for either hostages, goodies for Hamas, or both). I’m glad that four hostages have now been released, but there are about 196 more, and you can be assured that Hamas doesn’t care whether they live or die; they are merely tools to keep Israel at bay. We are dealing with monsters here, but they’re canny monsters.

Hamas released two elderly Israeli women held hostage in Gaza on Monday, as the United States expressed increasing concern that the escalating Israel-Hamas war will spark a wider conflict in the region, including attacks on American troops.

The death toll in Gaza was rising rapidly as Israel ramped up airstrikes, flattening residential buildings in what it says was preparation for an eventual ground assault. The United States advised Israel to delay an expected ground invasion to allow time to negotiate the release of more hostages..

. . .The release of the two hostages, 85-year-old Yocheved Lifshitz and 79-year-old Nurit Cooper, was confirmed by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The two women, along with their husbands, were snatched from their homes in the kibbutz of Nir Oz near the Gaza border in Hamas’ Oct. 7 rampage through towns of southern Israel. Their husbands were not released.

In a statement, Hamas said it had released them for humanitarian reasons. Hamas and other militants in Gaza are believed to have taken roughly 220 people, including an unconfirmed number of foreigners and dual nationals. Hamas released an American woman and her teenage daughter last week.

Humanitarian reasons my tuchas! This is the same group that merilessly slaughtered, tortured, and raped babies, young people, and old people–even people who were very sick. Hamas doesn’t know from humanitarianism; they even use their own people as human shields, and their main headquarters are underneath Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital, which of course Israel can’t bomb. (Remember that when you read in the papers today that medical supplies couldn’t get to Al-Shifa because of a lack of security guarantees.

And you know those hostages aren’t going to come without a price. Israel’s goal is to destroy Hamas, while Hamas’s goal now is to keep the terrorists alive. Either Israel has to go in on the ground, or it will fail in its avowed mission to get rid of Hamas.

*A prestigious Vietnamese-American author, one of whose books won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, had a big book event canceled because he signed an open letter criticizing Israel. Viet Thanh Nguyen, who also nabbed a MacArthur prize is also the Chair of English and Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. But that didn’t help him avoid cancellation:

Nguyen was set to speak about his new book, “A Man of Two Faces,” on Friday with novelist Min Jin Lee at 92NY, a Jewish organization formerly called 92nd Street Y. The center said it postponed the event to an unspecified time in the future.

“We are a Jewish institution that has always welcomed people with diverse viewpoints to our stage,” 92NY said in a statement. “The brutal Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Israel and the continued holding of hostages, including senior citizens and young children, has absolutely devastated the community. Given the public comments by the invited author on Israel and this moment, we felt the responsible course of action was to postpone the event while we take some time to determine how best to use our platform and support the entire 92NY community.

The change came days after Nguyen, who declined to comment, was one of 750 writers and artists who signed an open letter critical of Israel. The letter, which was published on Oct. 18 in the London Review of Books, called for “an end to the violence and destruction in Palestine.”

“We plead for an end to all violence, an end to all oppression and denial of human rights,

Nguyen said in a Facebook post Saturday that “no reason was given, no other date was offered, and I was never asked” about the change, which, he said, means the event was canceled. People on social media suggested a bomb threat had been made, he said, but he “heard no such thing from 92Y staff.”

He said on Instagram that the event’s organizer, Bernard Schwartz, who directs 92NY’s poetry center, moved the talk to McNally Jackson Books at Seaport in New York out of “principled refusal to agree to postponing.”

“I have no regrets about anything I have said or done in regards to Palestine, Israel, or the occupation and war. I only regret that Bernard and other staff at the Y have been so deeply and negatively affected by standing up for art and writers,” Nguyen said.

As you might predict, I disagree strongly with this action, which is punishing Ngyuen for his speech—and he was going to talk about his book, not the Israel/Gaza situation.  This is “cancel culture” at its apogee: a man is silenced because his political views are odious to some. Yes, the Y has the right to deplatform him, but it’s wrong of them to do so.

*A number of prominent Brits have signed “The October Declaration” that is unapologetically pro-Israel (h/t Jez). Here are some bits of it, but go to the link to see it all (it’s not long; emphasis is theirs);

We are a group of concerned British citizens and residents from a wide range of backgrounds and professions who stand in solidarity with British Jews and condemn all forms of antisemitism, whether in Britain or elsewhere.

We unequivocally condemn all acts of terrorism against civilians in Israel, especially the massacre on 7 October 2023. 

. . .We stand in support of British Jews and condemn acts of antisemitism

We ask the media, members of all political parties and everyone in public life to call out Hamas for what it is: a terrorist organisation. 

Some of the signers I recognized include Sir Tom Stoppard OM CBE, playwright; Professor Richard Dawkins, University of Oxford; Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP; Professor Niall Ferguson, historian; Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author and campaigner; Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, MP and broadcaster; Andrew Doyle, writer and broadcaster; Helen Joyce, author; Professor David Deutsch, University of Oxford. Mostly Tories, I suppose, but that’s what you get when you ask for support for Israel. The petition appears to have been organized by free-speech groups.

*Politico has a profile of FIRE president and free-speech advocate Greg Lukianoff, who, along with Rikki Schlott wrote this new book (click cover to order; h/t Barry):

As president of the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, Lukianoff has been either in front of the camera or behind the scenes of almost every major free speech controversy over the past 25 years. A near sui generis figure in American legal history, he’s the rarest of creatures in modern public life: someone dedicated to elevating principle over tribalism, a progressive who’s willing to ally himself with anyone — even the Koch brothers — who supports his larger cause.

That cause is a near absolute commitment to the First Amendment and civil liberties. It’s premised upon a faith in the human capacity to tolerate complexity, hearkening to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s observation that “the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” That Americans can recognize the importance of the due process rights of a likely criminal or the speech rights of someone with extreme or loathsome views.

Lukianoff’s philosophy — civil libertarianism — is arguably the very core of the American project. And yet it now faces intense threats from the left and the right, which Lukianoff chronicles in a new book on cancel culture. The book also offers some prescriptions, a new approach to politics and culture that could help bridge our poisonous divide, if given the chance.

Lukianoff doesn’t have all the answers, but as he recounted his own struggles with severe depression, it’s clear that his approach is a healing one. Whether Americans are willing to listen — and whether civil libertarianism can survive — is far less certain.

I knew Lukianoff had been depressed, but I didn’t know that he was suicidally depressed, and it’s heartening that he’s licked most of it and is now busy defending the Constitution.

In 2001, Lukianoff signed on as legal director. At the time, FIRE, as it’s universally known, had a budget of just over $500,000 and five employees. When he took over as president five years later, FIRE had a staff of only 12. Today, the organization employs 109 people, including 42 lawyers, and has an annual budget of nearly $37 million. Its work includes student and faculty outreach, public education, litigation on individual cases, legislative policy advocacy and reform of campus speech codes. FIRE claims more than 500 victories for students and faculty members and a nearly equal number of campus policy changes. Lukianoff’s career would have been notable for these accomplishments alone.

But his project really got going only after he got serious about killing himself.

Well that’s a provocative last line.  As I said, he’s mostly licked it, and, given the quality of his first book with Jon Haidt, I’ll certainly be reading the new one written with Schlott.

*The oldest known dog in recorded history has died–at 31.

A 31-year-old dog in Portugal that had been ranked as the world’s oldest dog ever has died, his owner said Monday.

The guard dog, called Bobi, died over the weekend in a veterinary hospital, Leonel Costa told The Associated Press.

Bobi lived on a farm in the village of Conqueiros in Portugal with Costa and four cats. He was born on May 11, 1992, when his owner was just 8 years old.

In an interview earlier this year, Costa told the Associated Press that Bobi’s secret to a long life was good food, fresh air and lots of love.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is unable to think:

Hili: I don’t know what to think about all this.
A: All this is too complicated.
In Polish:
Hili: Nie wiem, co o tym wszystkim myśleć.
Ja: To wszystko jest zbyt skomplikowane.


A sign from Buzzfeed with an unfortunate graphic:

An inventive Halloween costume posted by Seth Andrews. If you don’t know what it’s about, you’re too young:

From the Absurd Sign Project 2.0, a misplaced sticker (perhaps moved by a wag photographer):

From Masih, who was here and I didn’t even know it! Oy gewalt!  Read her statement:


Read the thread connected to the second tweet. I have seen some of the video, including #1 below:

Is Trudeau showing his true colors? (Note, he did write about the other side, though a bit tepid; see tweet right below this one). Trudeau’s moral compass seems fixed exactly in between the two poles.

From Barry: natural selection (in this case, kin selection) for attentiveness:

From Malcolm: crazy cats:

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a 24 year-old woman murdered (“murdered” is synonymous with “died at Auschwitz”):

And we’re down to one tweet per day from Dr. Cobb, this one showing a worker in a cat suit:

26 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

      1. One of John Travolta’s first films, and I read the book after watching the movie and Carrie has always been Sissy Spacek to me. One of the best endings of a horror movie as well. I nearly jumped out of my skin the first time I saw it. Steven King’s creepiest characters are almost always religious fanatics.

        1. I wish I was making this up, but it is looking likely that the new remake is going to star a transwoman as Carrie. Because men know all about misogyny and periods, obviously…

  1. Had pre-marriage Jonas Salk worked at NASA Langley Research Center in the 1970’s, he would have been listed in the laboratory phone book as “Salk, Jonas (NMI)”. NMI, of course, stood for “no middle initial”… details were important even in phone listings.

  2. Trudeau dare not say a word that might lose him a vote at the moment. He heads a minority government propped up cynically by the NDP, which is the only reason a no-confidence vote cannot end this farce. A large majority of the population feel he should step down before the next election, even a majority of members of his own Liberal party want him gone. Hence all the mealy-mouthed equivocations on anything at all.

    BTW, all UK citizens, wherever they live, can sign the October Declaration. I did.

  3. I have tripe in Pho and it is fine, but that is the extent of it.

    I don’t get what is “unfortunate” about the drowning graphic???

  4. Not even in Lyon, a culinary hub of the world, could I find a restaurant that cooked tripe so it was delicious.

  5. On this day:
    1260 – Chartres Cathedral is dedicated in the presence of King Louis IX of France.

    1590 – John White, the governor of the second Roanoke Colony, returns to England after an unsuccessful search for the “lost” colonists.

    1596 – The second Spanish armada sets sail to strike against England, but is smashed by storms off Cape Finisterre forcing a retreat to port.

    1795 – Poland is completely consumed by Russia, Prussia and Austria.

    1851 – William Lassell discovers the moons Umbriel and Ariel orbiting Uranus.

    1857 – Sheffield F.C., the world’s oldest association football club still in operation, is founded in England.

    1861 – The first transcontinental telegraph line across the United States is completed.

    1871 – An estimated 17 to 22 Chinese immigrants are lynched in Los Angeles, California.

    1889 – Henry Parkes delivers the Tenterfield Oration, effectively starting the federation process in Australia.

    1901 – Annie Edson Taylor becomes the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. [It was her 63rd birthday, too.]

    1902 – Guatemala’s Santa María Volcano begins to erupt, becoming the third-largest eruption of the 20th century.

    1911 – Orville Wright remains in the air nine minutes and 45 seconds in a glider at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.

    1926 – Harry Houdini’s last performance takes place at the Garrick Theatre in Detroit.

    1929 – “Black Thursday” on the New York Stock Exchange.

    1945 – The United Nations Charter comes into effect.

    1946 – A camera on board the V-2 No. 13 rocket takes the first photograph of earth from outer space.

    1947 – Famed animator Walt Disney testifies before the House Un-American Activities Committee, naming Disney employees he believes to be communists. [An aptly named committee, but not for the reasons that its founders thought…]

    1975 – In Iceland, 90% of women take part in a national strike, refusing to work in protest of gender inequality. [I believe that history is about to repeat itself soon, this time over the gender sex pay gap.]

    1980 – The government of Poland legalizes the Solidarity trade union.

    1986 – Nezar Hindawi is sentenced to 45 years in prison, the longest sentence handed down by a British court, for the attempted bombing of an El Al flight at Heathrow Airport.

    1998 – Deep Space 1 is launched to explore the asteroid belt and test new spacecraft technologies.

    2003 – Concorde makes its last commercial flight.

    2004 – Arsenal Football Club loses to Manchester United, ending a row of unbeaten matches at 49 matches, which is the record in the Premier League.

    2008 – “Bloody Friday” saw many of the world’s stock exchanges experience the worst declines in their history, with drops of around 10% in most indices.

    1561 – Anthony Babington, English conspirator (Babington Plot) (d. 1586).

    1632 – Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Dutch biologist and microbiologist (d. 1723).

    1650 – Steven Blankaart, Dutch entomologist (d. 1704).

    1763 – Dorothea von Schlegel, German author and translator (d. 1839).

    1788 – Sarah Josepha Hale, American author and poet (d. 1879).

    1804 – Wilhelm Eduard Weber, German physicist and academic (d. 1891).

    1830 – Marianne North, English biologist and painter (d. 1890).

    1838 – Annie Edson Taylor, American stuntwoman and educator (d. 1921).

    1882 – Sybil Thorndike, English actress (d. 1976).

    1885 – Alice Perry, Irish engineer and poet (d. 1969).

    1895 – Jack Warner, English actor and singer (d. 1981). [“Good evening, all”.]

    1896 – Marjorie Joyner, American make-up artist and businesswoman (d. 1994). [The first African-American woman to create and patent a permanent hair-wave machine.]

    1903 – Melvin Purvis, American FBI agent (d. 1960). [Nicknamed “Little Mel” because he was 5 ft 4 in (163 cm) tall, Purvis became noted for leading the manhunts that captured or killed bank robbers such as Baby Face Nelson, John Dillinger, and Pretty Boy Floyd, but his high public profile was resented by local law enforcement. Purvis asserted he had killed Floyd single-handed, others variously claimed that Floyd had been already wounded, or even that Purvis had ordered Floyd summarily shot dead for refusing to provide information.]

    1911 – Sonny Terry, American singer and harmonica player (d. 1986).

    1917 – Marie Foster, American activist (d. 2003).

    1923 – Robin Day, English lieutenant and journalist (d. 2000).

    1930 – The Big Bopper, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1959).

    1933 – Reginald Kray, English gangster (d. 2000).
    1933 – Ronald Kray, English gangster (d. 1995).

    1934 – Glen Glenn, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2022).

    1935 – Mark Tully, Indian-English journalist and author.

    1936 – Bill Wyman, English singer-songwriter, bass player, and producer.

    1939 – F. Murray Abraham, American actor.

    1947 – Kevin Kline, American actor and singer.

    1962 – Debbie Googe, English bass player and songwriter.

    1986 – Drake, Canadian rapper and actor.

    Pity is for the living, envy is for the dead:
    1537 – Jane Seymour, English queen and wife of Henry VIII of England (b. c.1508).

    1601 – Tycho Brahe, Danish astronomer and alchemist (b. 1546).

    1725 – Alessandro Scarlatti, Italian composer and educator (b. 1660).

    1922 – George Cadbury, English businessman (b. 1839).

    1944 – Louis Renault, French engineer and businessman, co-founded the Renault Company (b. 1877).

    1945 – Vidkun Quisling, Norwegian soldier and politician, Minister President of Norway (b. 1887).

    1960 – Yevgeny Ostashev, the test pilot of rocket, participant in the launch of the first artificial Earth satellite, Lenin prize winner, Candidate of Technical Sciences (b. 1924).

    1991 – Gene Roddenberry, American captain, screenwriter, and producer, created Star Trek (b. 1921).

    2005 – Rosa Parks, American civil rights activist (b. 1913).

    2011 – John McCarthy, American computer scientist and academic, developed the Lisp programming language (b. 1927).

    2015 – Maureen O’Hara, Irish-American actress and singer (b. 1920).

    2016 – Bobby Vee, American pop singer (b. 1943).

    2017 – Fats Domino, American pianist and singer-songwriter (b. 1928).

  6. “The Gaza health ministry said Monday that Israeli airstrikes had killed at least 436 people ”
    Why is the NYTimes blindly taking the word of the Hamas health ministry.

  7. I can’t think about tripe without recalling George Orwell’s experiences in The Road to Wigan Pier:

    I heard dreadful stories from the other lodgers about the place where the tripe was kept. Blackbeetles were said to swarm there. I do not know how often fresh consignments of tripe were ordered, but it was at long intervals, for Mrs Brooker used to date events by it. ‘Let me see now, I’ve had in three lots of froze (frozen tripe) since that happened,’ etc. We lodgers were never given tripe to eat. At the time I imagined that this was because it was too expensive; I have since thought it was merely because we knew too much about it. The Bookers never ate tripe themselves, I noticed.

    My parents fed us tripe once as kids – it was revolting!

    1. I LOVE tripe. Especially in the dish “Rojões à moda do Minho”. A traditional pork dish from northern Portugal. The tripe is stuffed with cornmeal, seasoned with cumin and ground peppercorns and then it is roasted or deep fried. The dish contains some other unusual ingredients such as curdled blood and pork livers. Sounds revolting but…

  8. I had tripe in Italy. It wasn’t bad. It was prepared in a stew/ soup with vegetables, an effective way to mask it’s unpleasantness.

    1. When a dish is served with an ingredient whose flavor must be masked in order for it to be palatable, I really think that ingredient should be an honest poison like cyanide or strychnine, and not some sneaky bit of tripe like tripe.

      1. My father loved tripe cooked with onions. Just looking at it was enough for me but then I did not know that I suffered from trypophobia. Trypophobia had not been identified at that time but the tripe with its clusters of holes was awful never mind the smell.
        The term “trypophobia” appears to have been coined by an unidentified Irish woman in a post on a Web forum in 2005.

    2. While living in California in the late 80’s I frequented many Mexican taquerias and they all served tripe. I once tried menudo (tripe soup) because it supposedly cured hangovers. Oh man, don’t ever eat it if you HAVE a hangover. Just the smell made me gag. I ate a couple bites and that was all I could muster. Never tried it since.

    3. In South Africa there is a dish, or rather dishes, called ‘afval’ (‘remnants’), consisting mainly of tripes. The yucky part of tripes is cleaning them.
      The ‘afval’ dishes are generally splendid, with a sweet chutney condiment, as a curry, in a potjie or otherwise.
      We also have skaapstertjies (mutton tails) and skaapkop (mutton head) , dishes that are, like tripes, often looked down upon, but are delicious if well prepared.

  9. Sorry this is late – yesterday you wrote on the WHO and woo.
    Firstly, Dr Gorski is great. Check him out on youtube.
    I wrote an article a few years ago about Taiwan cutting back the licenses of Traditional Chinese Medicine and trying to discourage it. Because it is useless at best, counterproductive at worst. And kills lots of animals.

    Taiwan is shut out of the WHO. Trad Chinese Woo is pushed by the P.R. China for soft power and it is an export of theirs. They have much sway over the WHO.

    My article https://democracychronicles.org/traditional-chinese-medicine/

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